Gazebo Gazette

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program selected 113 Mississippi students as candidates for the national award.

Students that have been selected as candidates have an opportunity to become one of the 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars.  The scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.

All students that have made it to the candidacy level were mailed the necessary materials from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the next phase of the application process.   The application process is a distinguished honor and by invitation only.  Only students that have been selected as a candidate in each state received this invitation.

A national review committee of qualified individuals experienced in secondary and post-secondary education evaluates candidates on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and the quality and content of their essays. Semifinalists will be announced in April and the final scholars list will be announced in May. Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

“We are very proud of our 113 student candidates for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program and encourage them to complete the next phase of the process by returning all of the application materials they received from the U.S. Department of Education. This is a great honor and showcases the tremendous talents of our graduating seniors in Mississippi,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.   In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The list of candidates from west Harrison County:

-Katie L. Baker, Long Beach High School

-Summer Cunningham, Long Beach High School

-Alaysha LeBlanc, Long Beach High School

-Emma Palmer, Pass Christian High School

-Yash B. Patel, Pass Christian High School